Founder and Chair – LMFC
Vice Chair – LMFC
President and CEO – LMFC
President & CEO – The Bank of Holland
SVP of Shared Services - LMFC

Hear from the founder of Lake Michigan Financial Corporation, Rich Lievense, and his insight on what this blog encompasses.

On several ‘blogging’ occasions, I have recommended books for reading. Here is another must-read for any growth company striving to make strategically sound decisions and keeping everyone aligned and accountable. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Vern Harnish builds on the very precise habits followed by John D. Rockefeller, one of the most successful and wealthiest business leaders in history.
Our senior management team read the book about a year ago and has since been implementing Harnish’s disciplined approach. Here’s what our past year has looked like: After our senior managers read and studied the books principles, they prepared their ‘one page’ strategic plan for their respective business or department. We met over the course of several days to thoroughly discuss the application of Rockefeller Habits concepts and review their draft plans. The process was challenging, refreshing, frustrating, stimulating, etc.  We needed to boil down our priorities, identify measurable metrics, and develop an effective rhythm to maintain alignment and drive accountability. Harnish suggested, “keeping it simple keeps it clear.” A single-paged, action-oriented strategic plan was the result of our intense discussions.  Each employee in the organization has the strategic plan pinned up ‘in plain view’ as a roadmap for the execution of our goals.
Mastering the Rockefeller Habits is a “how-to” book providing solutions to issues and challenges growth companies experience.  Below are a few of the key concepts the book outlines:
·   Rockefeller’s top habits:
       - Priorities – develop a “Top 5” list
       - Data – know your numbers really, really well
       - Rhythm – have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings

·    Build a powerful, usable and postable one-page strategic plan to strengthen execution.

·    Optimize your human capital through the “Right Things Right” model. This framework will outline what decisions need to be made and in what order.
On October 30, The Bank of Holland is hosting a discussion on the book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits with keynote speaker and CEO of Gazelles Systems, Patrick Thean.  Following Patrick’s presentation, a panel of local business leaders will share their insights into how they incorporated the Rockefeller Habits within their companies.  Join us and learn more about the Rockefeller Habits formula for business success.  Guests attending will receive a complimentary copy of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits as a gift, reserve your seat online.

October 30, 2013 | 4:00PM | The Pinnacle Center

Apple’s experience shows why jobs are flowing to China and the commitments they need to make in order to earn this work.  I am not sure we are ready to go back to the days of company employee dormitories and 12 hour, 6 day a week jobs but this certainly explains the current world wide electronic device manufacturing business.

Read "Apple, America and a Squeezed Middle Class" from The New York Times.

In his straightforward and concise way, Warren Buffett shares his view on why stock returns beat the alternatives.  This piece is condensed from his annual shareholders letter.

Read the condensed letter at  "Warren Buffett: Why stocks beat gold and bonds" from Fortune Magazine.

Read the complete letter to shareholders at the Berkshire Hathaway website.

The decision to sell a private company is one of the most difficult a business owner faces.  This article provides practical advice on appropriate timing.

Read "Why Some Business Owners Think Now is the Time to Sell" from The New York Times.

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